Fledgling lake study group meets state heads
By Tom Henry
Published December 20, 2006
Details about a fledgling Great Lakes research network will be presented to state department heads today at the quarterly Ohio Lake Erie Commission meeting in Columbus.
The meeting will be the last before a new panel is installed by Gov.-elect Ted Strickland.
Jeff Reutter, director of Ohio Sea Grant and Ohio State University's Stone Laboratory near Put-in-Bay, said the Great Lakes Regional Research and Information Network is an expanded version of an informal collaborative effort among Lake Erie researchers that began in 1998.
Researchers, focused on other lakes, wanted such a network for the basin at large.
So a proposal to create one was submitted to the National Sea Grant program in January. Initial funding of $25,000 for each of the five Great Lakes, or $125,000 total, was authorized in June.
The group held its first basinwide meeting in September in Chicago. Its first strategy session was Nov. 29-30 in Erie, Pa.
The network will be similar to the Ann Arbor-based Great Lakes Information Network, although tailored more for scientists and government officials.
Eventually, research papers will be posted online issue-by-issue.
Scientists hope to use the network to stay abreast of who's doing what on both sides of the U.S.-Canada border as well as to promote research links that will help get messages about hot topics out to the media, said Mr. Reutter, the network's U.S. chairman for academia.
"We're trying to do a better job of speaking with one voice," he said.
Today's meeting of the lake commission will be at a district office of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources' wildlife division. Commissioners are expected to approve the latest round of small research grants and set the 2007 meeting schedule.
Ed Hammett, the lake commission's executive director, is to report on the Balanced Growth Initiative and the Ohio Lake Erie license plate program.
The commission's offices are in Toledo.